There’s something special about old Scottish castles housing beautiful artworks from the classical era. It takes you back on a historical journey of a time that once was. On our last night in Scotland, we attended a gala dinner at the wondrous Gosford House near Longniddry, in East Lothian. At the time, I had never heard of Gosford House so I had no idea of what to expect. It was already dark upon arrival yet it seemed everybody was on to something as they strategically positioned themselves near the windows and peered out curiously. We entered the gates and made the drive up to the entrance. We had arrived at Gosford House. Clamoring out of the vehicle we could hear and now see a gentleman playing traditional bagpipes. We had been welcomed in true Scottish style.
Gosford house forms a neo-classical mansion holding the seat of the Earls of Wemyss and March. It is located approximately two miles north east of Longniddry, East Lothian. It forms a property of about 5000 acres wide, positioned on the south side of the Firth of Forth and close to the Muirfield, Gullane and Criagielaw golf courses.
HISTORY OF GOSFORD HOUSE
Gosford house was designed by architect Robert Adam. It was originally built for the 7th Earl of Wemyss between 1790 and 1800 however was completed 8 years after Adam’s death. Adam’s original design included a pair of monumental wings but these since were knocked down by the 8th Earl. These were then rebuilt by the 10th Earl in 1891. The British Army subsequently occupied Gosford House during the Second World War and burned down some of the main rooms in the central block. Since then, the roof has been partially removed. Upon entering we were treated to some traditional Scottish dancing and a given a formal tour on the artworks and history of Gosford House.
INSIDE GOSFORD HOUSE
The mansion itself is surrounded by elegantly landscaped grounds that overlook all of Edinburgh. Around the House you will find a series of lakes, a grotto, a curling house, a boathouse and many geese and herons. Charteris Wemyss Douglas (also known as the 7th Earl) is still buried in the mausoleum on the grounds. This is one of the most unique mausoleums in all of Britain as it looks like an Egyptian pyramid from the outside. Inside the House is a wondrous double staircase leading to a marble hall filled with artworks. Here you will see an extravagant fireplace and plaster work reminiscent of the strong Italian taste from the 10th Earl.
Walking around still ignites a tremendous sense of history as the House was once used as a hotel and prison by the army of World War II. While the north wing is still not roofed, the south wing forms the family house of the Earls of Wemyss and March and now the Charteris family.
DINNER AT GOSFORD HOUSE
Since we were here for a private Gala dinner, there was some pretty fancy food. The night opened with a traditional haggis cutting ceremony. This consisted of a gentleman dressed in tartan leading in the delicacy with the playing of bagpipes.
Then slicing open the bag in which the haggis was contained.
This was naturally followed by the tasting of this local delicacy.
Dinner started with chicken and ham terrine with mini vegetables and Cumberland dressing. This was followed by a main o local Scottish lamb fillet served with red wine and mint jus. Dessert consisted of a chocolate and hazelnut praline terrine with a cappuccino crème.
Drinks and conversation flowed freely before I decided to sneak off by myself to view more of that magnificent art collection. Turns out Gosford House holds works by Botticelli, Rubens and Titian. There is even a secret Da Vinci hidden away, not for public viewing.
Gosford House has since opened to the public for guided tours during the summer months. It is also available for group tours and extensive walks around the gardens.
It now also forms one of the top venues in Edinburgh for gala dinners, product launches, weddings and photo shoots.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Address: Longniddry, Lothian, Scotland, EH32 0PX
Location: Northeast of Longniddry, on the A198 Aberlady Road
Read more: Gosford House
Contact them: email@example.com
Phone: 01875 870 808